Saturday, December 5, 2015

Swell Saturday .. with a few photos from Hugh

OK, before all the words, here's the stoke for today:

Photo: Hugh Berenger
Forecasts for head-high, plus, holding up all week. For the weekend?  Really???  

Ok, there's gotta be a massive high tide to swamp it out, right?  Nope!  Moderate tides through the morning.

Well, I got it then: a big onshore wind to break it down? Not that either: Mild offshores through mid-morning.

Ah, the real deal-buster: rain.  Uh, skies, baby!

Yep, a real swell due to come in, in good conditions, on a weekend morning.  When was the last time that happened?  (That would be August, for the record.)

Upon arrival, it appeared to be just as advertised:

Sets were head-high, up to several feet overhead at the peaks.  Some were walled up, but the sandbars were working, and there were lots of peaks from straight in front of the steps all the way through Main Peak, the Rocks, LG1 and King's Corner 


down to North Gate and a very crowded Cotton's Point in the distance.

I didn't linger shooting, but donned the full wetsuit for the first time in eons.  The water was a remarkable 64, for December, but the chilly air suggested it.  Mark & I decided to hoof it down to the LG1/King's Corner area, which seemed to be far less crowded than the closer peaks, passing Hugh along the way.

Photo: Hugh Berenger
Before long, we were swimming out into overhead sets...

HH & NF digging for a set wave.  Photo: Hugh Berenger

...and then launching into fast, but nicely formed lefts...

Photo: Hugh Berenger

...and longer rights.

Photo: Hugh Berenger

Soon, we were joined by the intrepid octogenarian, Neil Frank (check the swell in the background):

Neil Frank.  Photo: Hugh Berenger
Most of the rights started as big, overhead peaks outside that gradually morphed into tight, fast barrels, well into the inside.

Today, over about 100 minutes, I rode what might seem a paltry 8 to 10 waves.  The two that Hugh caught, above, were the only two I rode in a 15 minute period when he was on the beach down where we'd decided to surf.  However, every one of those waves was excellent.  Big and open, but long and very ride-able.  Heart-thumping but strangely easy.  One or two of those in a session can make it a four star.  8-10?  Not only the second 5-star session of the year, but probably the best session of the year. 

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